Ouachita National Forest Freshwater Fishing Overview

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Ouachita National Forest Freshwater Fishing Travel Tips

  • This national forest offers more than 4,000 miles of fishing streams and 1,600 acres of stillwater fishing. Also, forest land borders two large Army Corps of Engineers’ lakes.
  • Stream anglers will love going for smallmouth bass on scenic clear mountain rivers such as the Ouachita and Caddo. Other desired species are Largemouth bass, bream, and catfish.
  • Enjoy superlative scenery and good fishing on the Little Missouri. Portions of the river are designated as both a federal wild and scenic river and a state natural and scenic waterway. Smallmouth bass is the most sought after fish.
  • Try 12 miles of the Glover River in the Oklahoma portion of the national forest. Cedar Lake is a good stillwater Sooner State fishery. It also has camping, hiking, and swimming.
  • Lake Hinkle, at 1,000 acres, is a state fishing lake partially within the bounds of the forest. Largemouth bass, bream, and catfish are present. Use Little Pines Campground as a base camp.
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Fishing is an important part of Arkansas culture, and the Forest Service has made sure that there's ample opportunity to catch the fish of your choice.

Four fishing ponds within the Oden Ranger District are stocked with catfish, bass, and bream. Story Pond is a seven-acre pond with two earthern piers that extend out into the water, making much of the pond's surface fishable from the shoreline. Macedonia Pond is a six-acre pond with fish structures such as stumps, tire reefs, and entire trees placed in the pond to improve fishing. Three earthen piers expand the pond's shoreline. Dogwoods and other flowering trees surround the small 1.5-acre Rifle Range Pond. Stumps and dead tress have been placed in the pond to improve fishing conditions. Located in a secluded forest setting, 1.5-acre John Burns Pond also offers excellent fishing opportunities.

Two ponds in the Womble Ranger District are the place to go for channel catfish. This pond connects with the 27-mile Womble Trail.

In addition to ponds, a number of lakes within the forest offer fishing opportunities: Kulli Lake (7 acres), Shady Lake (scenic 25-acre lake in a remote mountain setting), Lake Sylvia (beautiful 16-acre lake nestled in the mountains), Little Pines (1,000 acres), Cedar Lake (90 acres), and Lake Ouachita.


Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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